FEBRUARY and MARCH
If you have the mild weather, which has now arrived in South Gloucestershire it’s a good time to prune your mature apple trees.
First rub down your pruning saw with some diluted bleach, to avoid introducing any mold spurs.
Plan to prune as evenly as you can, moving around the tree and standing back to check your progress.
(Aim to keep the shape of the tree intact.)
Prune off dead or wind-damaged branches and criss crossing branches to let in more light.
Trim branches back to at least 12″ from the ground if your tree is a weeping variety.
Remove any wild self seeding shrubs as these will cramp your tree and compete for light.
Aim to leave as many lateral branches as you can.
If your tree grows in a fan shape and is a few years old, you can attempt thinning, which is cutting right back to the base with alternate branches.
Wounds should heal nicely with the dry weather.
Prune while dormant.
February and March are good months to prune apple and pear.
Allow two to three hours for the work.